Fast Food Geek ends the fried chicken sandwich wars with a review on the one worth stabbing for.
Popeye’s describes their chicken sandwich like this:
The sandwich features a chicken breast filet marinated in Louisiana seasonings, then battered and breaded in a new buttermilk coating. The filet is served with barrel-cured pickles and Classic or Spicy Mayonnaise on a toasted buttery brioche bun.
If you’ve been paying any attention to fast food in the last few years, you know that Popeye’s released their chicken sandwich to exceptional fanfare, long lines, and even a tragic stabbing death back in 2019. It was so popular when released in the summer that the whole chain ran out of the product and had to rejigger their supply chain to release the sandwich full time in November 2019.
While it’s been years, the popularity for the sandwich continues, as there has been a new Popeye’s under construction near the Fast Food Geek residence for the better part of 6 months. Anticipation reached a boiling point and after opening, the drive thru line has caused traffic jams throughout all hours of the day.
Enough of the history lesson though, we have got to get to the fried chicken. After waiting in line for a borderline unreasonable amount of time we had attained the famous sandwich. Continuing the fried chicken sandiwch trend, Popeye’s packs their chicken sandwich in a foil lined paper bag. One day I’ll collect all of the bags and knit together a fried chicken scented blanket.
Once unearthed, the sandwich was also wrapped in a makeshift, semi translucent sack. It appeared that this was supposed to be used as a holder for when you ate the sandwich, but honestly it was more or less an unusable soiled napkin.
We opted for the spicy variety so all of the photos you’ll see will have the relatively familiar yellow orange creamy mayo throughout. Much like the KFC Chicken Sandwich, the Popeye’s sandwich is quite large and the chicken overflows over the bun.
As you can see, the boneless breast was anything but uniform, instead having random crispy twig like pieces sprouting off in every which way. When open facing the beast, you can see that there was quite a generous amount of sauce on both the top and bottom bun, so much so that the pickles were almost drowned and unnoticeable.
Despite the ample amount of sauce, the sandwich didn’t have a really sloppy feel, despite what the pictures might represent. So let’s get to taste, because that’s all that really matters in the end. The chicken breast itself was what fried chicken dreams are made of. Royally crunchy with a bold cajun taste that is definitely different from that of KFC’s blend. There was an ample amount of texture and the breading was fried just right so it wasn’t the least bit wet or oily.
The pickles were nice and large, with the classic dill taste, but their texture may have been drowned out ever so slightly by the river of spicy mayo. The mayo itself was very tasty but also extremely spicy. I may be used to fast food places calling things “spicy” and there only being a hint of zest, but with both the KFC sandwich and now the Popeye’s one, the spicy mayo is dragon breath inducing. Now I appreciate spicy quite a lot so it was a great experience for me, but if you’re not into spicy at all, don’t accidentally get this variety.
The toasted buttery brioche bun was quite sufficient. The bun was large and pillowy, yet sturdy enough to handle the large breast of chicken and super schmear of mayo without any noticeable sog.
While I had my doubts, the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich would live up to the hype, I was nothing but overly pleased. The sandwich has a dynamic and different zesty flavor that I was enamored with. The breading and fry were seriously on point as the kids would say. The serving was plentiful and didn’t have the least bit of a mass produced chicken patty feel. While I might not stab anyone for this sandwich, I’d certainly at least wait in another 30 minute line to get one.
While the Fried Chicken wars may never end, at this point my champion is Popeye’s, followed closely by KFC. Chick Fil A and their old classic is now rocking bronze medal, with McDonald’s and Wendy’s a distant fourth and fifth.
Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich: 9/10